Mikel Arteta ‘driving force’ behind Arsenal bid to sign third Man City player

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is reportedly ‘driving’ a move for Manchester City outcast Kalvin Phillips in the January transfer window. Arteta is keen to add a new midfielder to his ranks with Thomas Partey’s injuries leaving the Spaniard short of options in the middle of the pitch.

Phillips was a £42million arrival at City in 2022 but has struggled for game time under Pep Guardiola. Featuring in just 379 Premier League minutes since the start of last season, the former Leeds man could be set for a premature departure from the top-flight champions.

Arsenal are in need of a new defensive midfielder due to Partey’s injuries, with a groin problem now troubling the Ghanaian. It is reported that deals for either Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz and Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi have been discarded due to the likely huge cost of both moves.

The Gunners will instead target a much cheaper option. According to TeamTalk, Arteta is ‘driving’ a move for the 27-year-old England star Phillips but there has been little actual progress over a move.

Fluminense starlet Andre Trindade is also believed to be a target, although the 22-year-old Brazilian has been strongly linked with Manchester United. Arsenal will reportedly continue to track Belgian teen star Arthur Vermeeren during the international break.

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Phillips could be available in January at a bargain price and Arsenal have a good relationship with their Premier League rivals having signed Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel Jesus and manager Arteta. City boss Guardiola has left the door open for the combative ace to leave the club.

“I never change,” Guardiola said after being told that he has previously never stood in the way of a player who wants to leave. “I said a few months ago, but after that they have to agree with the club. My opinion is my opinion. The last word belongs to the club.

“If he decides to [leave], then do it. If the agreement is not done, then he stays. He’s behaving incredibly. One of the most generous players I’ve ever seen – honestly, as I don’t want to compliment when players don’t play matches. Others are maybe problems in locker room – it’s completely the opposite.

“Every time he goes to national team with Gareth [Southgate] I’m the happiest man in the world. When he plays it’s a benefit for me. I don’t know what will happen with Kalvin because when the transfer window is open, nobody knows.”

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Arsenal head coach Arteta has previously been linked with a striker ahead of January. Ivan Toney could be available once his ban from competitive football ends on January 16.

But the Gunners’ plans might now change with a midfielder the priority. Speaking about the possibility of signing a new forward earlier this month, Arteta said: “We’re not thinking at all about that.

“We have really good players up front. It’s true that right now we have some injuries. We will continue with the players we have.”

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